The season is upon us, like a speeding bullet, how is it that November is half over? Summer ended so abruptly, I guess that starting kindergarten tossed us into the routine of the school year. Time goes quickly when it is divided into semesters. I love Thanksgiving, it is my favorite holiday to plan and cook. I love it partly because I get to stuff myself with the comfort foods of childhood and partly because cooking this meal, smells up the house with the roasty delicious scents of times gone by.
The best part of Thanksgiving to me is the warmth (being from the East we really needed it) of friends and family being together centered around the table.
Thanksgiving is also a great excuse for our family to get to be crafty. We love to use natural items that we gather from our yard or on a walk. A few years ago we started giving tokens to our guests. We wanted them to feel welcome and go home with some of our decorations.
At our craft store we bought inexpensive brown paper mache frames. We color copied photos of all our kid guests and glued them to the frames.
When the children arrived we gave them leaves and glitter and they decorated their photos. We hung them around the room, and when they left they got to take the one with their photo on it.
We also collected a bunch of bright yellow Ginkgo leaves and sandwiched them between contact paper to use as a table cloth for the kids table. (not pictured) This craft was a great way to get my daughter involved and a good way to keep our table clean.
Get the kids involved with setting the table too, even though I have to give up control on how my kids table should look, the kids are happy and excited to eat when it is time.
What I have learned over the years is that it is not how the table looks or how much food is cooked but how we remember the day and look back on it with nostalgia. I know everyone experiences the holidays differently, some turbulent some lonely, some loud but we have to make sure we find the little kernel of joy in it for ourselves and hold on to it. So make it a calm and enjoyable day and maybe lower your expectations a bit.
This year even though we are going to a friends house and I am sure whatever we eat and however the table is decorated it will smell good, be warm, fun and satisfying.